Auckland’s showplace for race horsing is Ellerslie Racecourse which hosts 26 race meetings a year. It has now been in existence for over 130 years and has a world renowned reputation for its steeplechase track as well and the lovely manicured lawns and gardens.
The Auckland Racing Club began in 1874 when the Auckland Jockey Club and the Auckland Turf Club amalgamated. Although racing actually began some 32 years earlier at the Epsom Racecourse or Epsom Downs as it was called then. Ellerslie Racecourse has first class and even award winning facilities and is well utilized with other events other than racing – at these times it is known as the Ellerslie Function and Convention Centre.
Newmarket was favoured in the early days of Auckland as a site for early settlement mainly because of its natural attributes. There was spring water, fertile soil for growing crops and land for building industry, some of which were stockyards, breweries and a flax mill. It was a borough between 1885 and 1989 before being amalgamated with Auckland city. Over the years Newmarket has gone from a farming and industrial area to a town centre rich in retail and commercial business although the brewery is still very much there and bigger than ever. The railway line to the south travels through Newmarket as does the Link Bus service.
Auckland's expanding transport infrastructure has had a strong influence on Newmarket's form and character. The railway line and station and the southern motorway provided significant links between Newmarket and other areas in the Auckland region. Newmarket is a great stopping off point from either transport services to get in some shopping and have some lunch.
Flights out of AKL
In addition to the above suggestions, you can also try STA http://www.statravel.co.nz/ and Flight Centre http://www.flightcentre.co.nz/, or Air New Zeland Holidays Store(their travel agent division not their reservations) http://www.airnewzealand.co.nz
Fares especially from the carriers own website are not necessarily more expensive. They are subject to availability and could go up in a flash compared to tavel agents who pre-purchase from suppliers and therefore can supply same low price for a length of time until they have sold out. If you purchase your ticket direct from the airline early enough you'll find you'll get some really good fares. And it is true it pays to subscribe to a carrier for email updates, they do come out with good deals every now and then especially when they need to fill up undersold flights.
The advantage of going to a travel agent is that they can put together a complex fare/itinerary simply because they deal with a lot more suppliers, something that the airline can't or don't do.
Fresh breads and treats daily
Admittedly, I only actually bought anything at Pandoro once or twice, but not by choice. By some strange and wonderful arrangement, the hostel that I was staying out in Parnell was amply supplied morning or evening (or both!) with fresh and day old goodies from this lush bakery. You cannot go wrong with free bread when you're on a budget!
Pandoro is an Italian-inspired bakery that offers organic, genetic-engineering free, artisan, handmade breads, cakes, desserts and bakery items. Their regional Italian breads include ciabatta, panini, focaccia and olive bread, and they also bake up authentic sourdoughs using wild yeasts from Germany, France and San Francisco, and pide breads from Turkey. Our product list offers over 200 breads, cakes and pastries, including a bread selection of over 25 dough varieties. Don't expect to find them all available in their shops, but there is still a huge selection to choose from. I also highly recommend their chocolate buns - oooooh, to die for! I also indulged myself frequently in many of their whole grain breads, chock full of seeds, nuts and multiple grains - perfect for toast in the morning, or peanut butter and banana sandwiches for lunch. Their Anzac biscuits aren't bad either. :-)
If you're going to go to New Zealand go to Queenstown (the adventure capital of the world). There is nothing to do in Auckland, it is flat and miserable and usually cold, so not too much swimming. The cab ride to the city is $60 from the Airport and like an hour away. The international terminal and domestic airport terminals are about 20 min walk away so if the airport buses stop running at 9pm like they did when I was there, you'll have fun sleeping on the bench out in the cold at the domestic terminal or hiking with all your luggage to the next terminal. I know it's a strong word, but I hate this place, it's miserable. If you're a traveler wanting to see New Zealand skip Auckland, Christchurch (just as miserable and rainy to boot), go straight to Queenstown. It's the best!